RI Urged Senate Committee to Ensure Secretary of State Nominee Pompeo Address Key Concerns Before Confirmation Vote

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held the nomination hearing for Secretary of State nominee Michael Pompeo. In advance of that hearing, Refugees International sent a letter to Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Ranking Member Robert Menendez urging that they and other Members of the Committee ensure that the nominee address critical concerns.

Any individual confirmed for the position of Secretary of State must be prepared to...endorse the continuation of a vibrant U.S. refugee resettlement program in which officials do not make judgments about admission based on religion or country of origin.
— Refugees International President Eric Schwartz

In particular, Refugees International urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to ensure that Mr. Pompeo address several serious and significant concerns, including:

•    Statements by Mr. Pompeo that have unreasonably suggested that American Muslims and American Muslim leaders are complicit in acts of violence and terror. We worry that these statements have stoked prejudice, fear, and bias against Muslim refugees in particular, and the Muslim community in general.
•    Mr. Pompeo’s positions and statements in support of measures that amount to torture.
•    Mr. Pompeo’s prior support for legislation that would have effectively shut down U.S. refugee resettlement.
•    Mr. Pompeo’s expressed skepticism regarding climate change, which is of concern to RI given our organization’s efforts to promote resilience to minimize displacement from extreme weather events and climate-related disasters.

The letter concluded by stating that “any individual confirmed for the position of Secretary of State must be prepared to renounce undifferentiated verbal attacks on any religious community in the United States as well as torture in any form; to endorse the continuation of a vibrant U.S. refugee resettlement program in which officials do not make judgments about admission based on religion or country of origin; and to recognize the connection between an increase in the incidence of disasters resulting from natural hazards and the importance of addressing climate change.”
 

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